Monrovia - With seventeen candidates eyeing the seat currently occupied by Munah Pelham, Paulita Wie is hoping her goodwill and service to the CDC, the community and the country make the difference at the polls.
Lakpazee – Paulita CC Wie, daughter of late journalist Paul Allen Wie is used to defying conventions.
The businesswoman, humanitarian and community leader holds no punches when a reporter accompanied her during one of her many visits to areas in the Lakpazee community, one of several in the much-coveted District No. 9 she is hoping to lead after the October election.
The district has already changed representatives twice since the 2005 legislative elections. Kettehkumeh Murray won the seat in 2005 and in 2011, the now incumbent Munah Pelham Youngblood.
So, if Ms. Wie is confident about her chances, it could be the fact that community dwellers are still unhappy about what they are seeing from their current leaders.
“There are a lot of problems here - lack of safe drinking water, consistent electricity and roads. Some marketers in Lakpazee Community continue to complain that for the past 11 years they have been squatting. For a high-profile community like ours, not having a market is not a good thing,” the candidate told the reporter.
Ms. Wie laments that the lack of running water is causing serious problems for residents.
“Those with hand pumps sometimes don't even have water – even if they have, the pumps are not even working. People complain that maintenance in the absence of cash is worrisome.
Some built their houses without toilet and some places they toilet in bags and throw it on the communities, this is worrisome and not healthy at all for this modern world we are living in.”
Ms. Wie who has been involved in numerous interventions in the area decries the lack of basic recreation centers for children to keep them busy after school or at least engaged speaks to the massive needs of the community.
“There are no libraries or computer schools, unemployment and the right person to address these concerns.
The private schools have appealed to government to help them with some resources to build them, sanitation and personal hygiene issues are prevalent and that’s why I think we need someone like me with a voice to raise the red flag and advocate for improvements in the community.”
Ms. Wie has to date visited about 18 out of 21 communities in the district, the latest, one last week to the area around the JFK hospital.
There, Ms. Wie heard the plight of residents who have been pleading for government intervention for the repair of the drainage behind the hospital.
“This is necessary because the raining season is almost upon us. The area dwellers have become accustomed to running from their homes while others sometimes get sick due to the flood.
Born December 25, 19xx unto the union of Paul Allen Wie and Annie S. David Tewleeh on the Airfield, the candidate is a 2005 graduate from the Leigh-Sherman Executive Secretarial School and attended and graduated from the AME Zion University in 2013 with a degree in Sociology major and Management.
She is the CEO and founder of Helping Impact Liberia, a non-governmental and non-political NGO.
She is also the CEO of Joker's Incorporated (Boutique and Restaurant, Airfield Road) Administrative Assistant- Bethel Cathedral of Hope Church ( Congo Town) Current Chair Ways, Means and Finance - Coalition of Political Parties Women in Liberia Coordinator- Congress for Democratic Change Professionals Organizer, event planner and special assistant to Ambassador George M. Weah, on International Affairs.
Her peers describe her as a hard working mother, national and international business woman, an actress, humanitarian, God fearing, a servant and a leader with passion for people and Liberia.
For Ms. Wie, empowering people has been a passion of hers for a long time. “I have been doing business for ten years in Liberia and during that time I have empowered more than 100 persons over the years. Entrepreneurship is important and human capacity building.”
The candidate says people must learn to work hard to build the economy and be productive positively.
She says due to the lack of basic formal education; the illiteracy rate is high. “I noticed most people face challenges such as owning lands, starting businesses, information and opportunities given to push for higher levels and dimension in lives and financial resources are some of the challenges our people face.”
The candidate believes that safer communities where people can fully understand their roles in the justice system is key to closing the gaps in the process of rebuilding.
“Most of our people today are drinking, smoking etc and this is worrisome.
The government should have resources to enforce the laws, build an evidence base for trial, empower communities to fight sexual crimes and support the judicial system because it is the right of every citizen to have fair and speedy trial.”
For the foreseeable future, she says, if elected, she aims to press and ambitious education agenda that will improve lives.
“It is my prayer and hope that the Ministry of Education, Legislators, the Executive will develop a plan to prioritize the implementation and enforcement of free and compulsory primary education for all children & establish assistance such as loans for university students, technical Vocational & skill training which will also provide opportunities for employment, advancing in technology because most of our people are not expose to these fundamental issues and it is affecting our country.”
The mother of xx, also laments that too many mothers and their infants are dying in childbirth.
“Most times because of lack of right maternal care, lack of quality information and options, diagnostics and equipment, financial constrain and trained doctors and nurses.”
Ms. Wie says she believes that women and teens need reproductive health education.
“Women with special needs must have access to specialized care, government is also under obligation to provide safety for her people most especially those that cannot afford the bills in hospitals.
“There must be policy or plans to provide free health care for people who cannot afford.
It is sad that you visit some hospitals and people died from malaria or fever all because of no money. Sometimes you have an emergency issue, and rushed to the hospital and they wouldn't even look at you until you bring cash which is not a good thing for a country.”